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Spawning Ground Surveyor – Scientific Technician 2 – Non-Permanent – *06940-24

Salary: $61,404.00 – $82,512.00 Annually
Location: Kitsap County – Port Orchard, WA
Job Type: Full Time – Permanent
Job Number: 2024-EAP3946-06989
Department: Dept. of Fish and wildlife 
Division: Environmental Assessment
Opening Date: 06/12/2024
Closing Date: Continuous
Category: Environmental Services / Public Health / Natural Resources / Laboratory / Sciences / Green-Collar/Environmental


                          Pollution Prevention and Hazardous Waste Specialists (ES 4)(In-Training)(3 positions) description image




Fish Program – Fish Management Division
Bellingham, Washington – Whatcom County


Anticipated Appointment Length: 6 Months

June 15, 2024 – December 15, 2024


Provide technical field support collecting spawning ground data on salmonids on the Nooksack River and North Puget Sound Independent Tributaries for stock assessment and fishery management purposes.


Work independently and as a team member conducting spawning ground surveys, collecting, organizing, and compiling biological data.

Spawned out Coho in a riverSpawned-out Coho – Photo Credit: WDFW

With your experience, you will collect data used to develop escapement estimates, pre-season forecasts, and evaluate progress toward regionally important salmon recovery goals.

We are seeking a candidate to accurately identify, count, and record observations of freshwater stage adult salmonids, salmonid redds and other freshwater fish species.




Here are some things you will do in this role:


Salmon Stock Assessment Surveys: 

  • Conducts spawning ground surveys for Chinook, pink, coho, and chum salmon on the Nooksack River and independent drainages throughout Whatcom County.
  • Walks (up to 10 miles per day) or rafts sections of these rivers and tributaries.
  • Rafting will include the use of single person and two person pontoons in up to class III whitewater.


Data Compilation: 

  • Reviews data collected to ensure it is accurate, complete, legible, and organized.
  • Prepares, organizes, and inventories biological samples including but not limited to DNA samples, scale cards, otolith collections, and snouts.
  • Occasionally enters field data into Microsoft Excel, Access, or other software.


Field Equipment and Office Maintenance: 

  • Ensures field equipment is working properly and notifies supervisor of issues immediately.
  • Maintains equipment used in data collection including rafts and sampling gear.
  • Keeps vehicles and office clean and organized.
  • Performs office functions such as filing, copying, scanning, and faxing.
  • Checks and replenishes fluid levels in vehicle between oil changes and alert supervisor of any vehicle issues.

  • Work Setting, including hazards:
    • Work is performed almost entirely outdoors. Work occurs in all seasons and in all weather conditions from extreme heat to extreme cold and snow.
    • Work is often performed independently in remote locations with no cell service in and around swift water.
    • Long drives to work sites from field office. Use of rafts, pontoons, and bicycles. Hazards include exposure to heat, cold, rain, snow, slippery, uneven, and loose surfaces. Lacerations from sampling instrumentation or environmental hazards, drowning, sprains, strains, fractures, and contusions. Encounters with potentially dangerous wildlife such as black bears or cougars and stinging and biting insects. Traffic accidents, boating accidents, and all potential hazards associated with mechanized or human powered travel during all seasons and environmental conditions over variable terrain up to 10 miles daily.
    • Prolonged periods of squatting, stooping, sitting, standing for hours, walking on rugged, slippery, steep and/or uneven ground and hiking through rugged forested terrain; manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and upper body strength for loading, unloading, and rowing drift boats or rafts in swift water up to class 3 whitewater.
    • Must be able to negotiate water in emergency situations.
  • Schedule:
    • Monday-Friday 40 hours per week.
    • Occasionally irregular hours, weekend, and holiday shifts will occur.
  • Travel Requirements:
    • Requires regular travel throughout Whatcom and Skagit counties.
    • Occasional in-state travel for meetings or trainings and to Olympia to pick up supplies or deliver samples.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • 4-wheel drive pickup, bicycle, pontoon, raft, personal computer, GPS, CWT detection wand, waders, wading boots, machetes, sampling pack including forceps, scissors, and knives.
  • Customer Interactions:
    • Will interact with other WDFW personnel, public and private landowners, local government, co-managers, anglers, boaters, hikers, volunteers, and WDFW enforcement personnel.




  • Graduation from high school or GED (including one year of high school science) and two (2) years of experience as a Scientific Technician 1.

  • Graduation from high school or GED (including one year of high school science), and two (2) years of laboratory or field experience as an assistant to a biologist, chemist, or zoologist.
Please note:
  • College course work involving major study in biology, zoology, fisheries, chemistry, natural sciences, or closely allied field will substitute year-for-year for experience, provided the course work includes at least 6 semester or 9 quarter hours of natural science classes.
  • Valid driver’s license.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Professional or volunteer experience collecting biological data from adult salmonids such as CWT snouts, scales, otoliths, DNA samples and fork lengths.
  • Ability to operate pontoons, rafts, or drift boats in swift water up to class III.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to clearly relay important information to supervisor.
  • Ability to safely wade remote streams in thigh to waist deep water. 
  • Ability to carry up to 75 lbs. of equipment short distances to access sites and over logjams (e.g. portaging and carrying equipment to site).
  • Ability and desire to walk many miles (~ 12 mi) in streams and through rugged terrain.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
  • Successful completion of agency training and/or certification for assigned watercraft dependent on supervisory direction, position need and training availability.
In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following: 
  • Professional or volunteer experience as a salmonid spawning ground surveyor. 
  • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in Fisheries Biology, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Science, Natural Resources, or 2 years of related work experience in Fisheries Biology.
  • Geographic knowledge of the Nooksack River, Whatcom, and Skagit counties.
  • Experience entering biological field data using Microsoft Excel.



Supplemental Information


Please note: Failure to follow the instructions below may lead to disqualification.


Experience and education selected, listed, and detailed in the Supplemental Questions must be verifiable in the application.


In order to successfully apply for this position, you MUST complete your profile at www.careers.wa.gov and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:

  • A current resume. 
  • Three professional references. 



All new employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 Form) on their first day of work. If hired for this or any position at WDFW, you will be required to provide documentation proving you are eligible to work in the United States. For a list of acceptable documents, please use the following link:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-acceptable-documents



Learn about our agency and the perks of working for WDFW!


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has some of the most talented people in the natural resource field.  We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with the local community, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling the agency’s mission. We value demonstrated skill in living WDFW values of Accountability, Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Empathy (ASPIRE).


WDFW employees may be eligible for the following Benefits:

Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave types.


Eleven (11) Paid Holidays per year and one (1) personal holiday if the employee is scheduled to be, or has been, continuously employed by the State of Washington for at least four (4) months.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and an Employee Assistance Program.



This position is in the bargaining unit represented by the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals and is subject to the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish & Wildlife Professionals.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer



To take advantage of veteran preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to Cheri.Weld@dfw.wa.gov.
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and Vet (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – Veteran)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.



To take advantage of military spouse preference, please do the following:

  • Notify us of your military spouse status by email at Cheri.Weld@dfw.wa.gov.  
  • Subject line must include recruitment number, position, and MS (for example: #10155 Biologist 1 – MS)
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in careers.wa.gov.


Note: Please blackout any PII (personally identifiable information) data such as social security numbers. 


As part of WDFW’s efforts to advance respectful and inclusive work environments, the Agency expects inclusivity as part of our professional interactions and communications.  Therefore, we want to ensure that all individuals feel welcome, are treated fairly and respectfully.  All staff are empowered to fully contribute to serving their work unit, Agency, and the citizens of Washington.

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The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer.  We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and gender identity diversity.  Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, disabled, and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.


Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format please contact Jayme Chase by phone 360-902-2278 or email Jayme.Chase@dfw.wa.gov, or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at 800-833-6388.


If you are having technical difficulties creating, accessing, or completing your application, please call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or support@neogov.com.


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